Coal Generated Electricity Introduction
Coal is one of the largest and by far one of the most affordable energy sources available to the United States. Coal is used to power over 37% of our nations energy, so one challenge we may face is finding a superior alternative.
Advantages of Using Coal
- Coal plays a vital role in electricity generation around the world (World, 2017).
- It is relatively inexpensive and burns efficiently
The Disadvantages of Using Coal
- Coal is a nonrenewable resource, there is a finite supply
- It Does contain CO2, which the worlds largest contributor to global warming
How Does Coal Generate Electricity?
First, coal is degraded down into a powder, which allows it to burn more quickly. The powdered coal is blown into the combustion chamber of a boiler where it is burnt at high temperature. The hot gases and heat energy that is produced converts water, in tubes that line the boiler. (World, 2017). The high pressure steam goes into a turbine containing thousands of propeller-like blades. The blades spin fast when pushed by the steam, and it generates electricity.
Nuclear Generated Electricity Introduction
This is a picture of a nuclear plant.
The future of nuclear energy whole heartedly depends on the safety and efficiency of the reactors and the designs of the nuclear plants.
How Nuclear Energy Works
The nuclear reactors produce and control the energy produced by atoms splitting. This is a sustainable way of creating energy and is highly regulated.
- Very efficient and safe
- Supplies 11% of electricity today, and is predicted to continue growing (World, 2017).
- Low pollution and low costs
- Radioactive waste
- Accidents could happen
- Expensive plants
A rod of a neutron-absorbing substance used to vary the output power of a nuclear reactor (Dictionary, 2017). "Control rods are used in nuclear reactors to control the fission rate of uranium and plutonium. They are composed of chemical elements such as boron, silver, indium and cadmium that are capable of absorbing many neutrons without themselves fissioning."
They are critical because they are an important safety system of nuclear reactors. They constitute a key component of an emergency shutdown system (SCRAM). (Nuclear, 2016)
Effects on the Environment
- Emissions (not much)
- Potential failure or accidents
(2013, May 3) Nuclear Energy Pros and Cons http://energyinformative.org/nuclear-energy-pros-and-cons/
(2011, March 17) Control Rods http://www.nuclear-power.net/nuclear-power-plant/control-rods/
How a Nuclear Reactor Works http://www.world-nuclear.org
(2017, February 21) The Power of High Efficiency Coal https://www.worldcoal.org